January 2008 Newsletter


January Programs at Noon

On January 11, Marisa Ruggieri, from Parma, Italy will speak at noon in Italian about “Duchessa Maria Luigia: La bellezza e l'arte-La sua eredita a Parma.”   Marisa was born in Collecchio (next to Parma) in Emilia Romagna. She is the mother-in-law of La Causerie instructor (and member) Joan Gioacchini.

On January 18 another Italian program titled “Growing up in Tarquinia, the Center of the Etruscan Civilization” will take place at noon. The presentation, in Italian, will be presented by Marco Castignani, who is in Kansas City for an internship at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center. Marco’s family is from Tarquinia a tiny town located in the countryside 50 miles away from Rome. This medieval town faces the Tirrenian River and is the site of Etruscan tombs.

On January 25 there will be presentation made by a group of La Causerie students who studied in Quito, Ecuador last September with Martha Penaherrera.  Some of the program, held at noon, will be in Spanish, some in English.

On February 22, Tamara Falicov, Associate Professor of Film and Latin American Studies at the University of Kansas will present, in Spanish, a short overview of the history of immigration to Argentina, discuss the various ethnic groups that came in search of a better life, and the creation of the tango as an immigrant's dance.

If you have suggestions for programs in 2008, please let these folks know:


Thad Carver (French)                      

Angelica Estrada-Minton (Spanish)    

Humbert Tinsman (Italian)                

Ninfa Redmond (Italian)                    


Pick up your Livret this Friday


Our annual membership handbook and roster, called the Livret, will be available for distribution on Friday, January 11. Be sure to pick up your copy (and check off your name on the list so we know you got it). The Livret contains our history, by-laws, as well as contact information for teachers and members.  Copies will be mailed to associate members (who do not attend classes). Many thanks to Inez Pennington and Judy Pearlstein who stepped forward to complete this important project for us.


Website Additions

You can find some new things on our website this year.

Have a facilities issue?

Tell a board member, not someone who works at the church.  We want to keep our landlords happy and you can help by funneling La Causerie issues, suggestions and requests through Inez or another board member (see list below).


Snow Policy


La Causerie Française follows the Shawnee Mission School District practice on snowy or icy days.  If the Shawnee Mission District closes its schools due to bad weather, La Causerie will also be closed.  In case of inclement weather, please listen to the list of school closings on television and radio or check the SMSD’s website. 


Fall Calendar


January 11 Classes Resume Italian Program at noon.

January 18 Classes Held. Italian Program at noon.

January 25 Classes Held. Spanish Program at noon (some English spoken)

February 1 Classes Held.

February 8 Classes Held.

February 15 Classes Held.

February 22 Classes Held. Spanish Program at noon

Executive Board Members 2007-2008

Check your Livret for phone numbers and email addresses.


Patricia Reed  (Assistant to the Board)


President: Inez Pennington

First VP: TBD

Second VP: Pam White (also Chair of Social & Hospitality)

Secretary: Joan Daniels (Program Chair)

Asst. Secy: Judy Pearlstein (Textbook Chair)

Treasurer: Linda Lyon

Asst. Treas Dalene Bradford (newsletter and publicity)